This is our story...
2007 was the seed and birth of the Festival in tribute to Jo Marie Foster, who suddenly past away her in sleep in November 2005 at the age of 21.
Jo loved music and actively supported the nightlife of Witney. So in honour to her, Jo's brother Stuart Foster and creative director Paul Slamin created a Festival model to bring further life to Witney venues and pubs, featuring a local band or act each night over the duration of a week. As year one passed and after being received positively, we agreed on an annual Festival during the Spring/Summer.
Derek West, being a regular focus of the music in Witney joined the team and took the reins. From there, each year we created artistic, musical and beneficial growth to the towns calendar. From being one week we expanded the involvement of more pubs, music venues and attractions whilst increasing bands/acts to 100+ and having several gigs going on at the same time.
The year of 2013 added a new branch to our ever growing music tree with our first major outdoor event situated near the centre of Witney on the Leys Recreation Ground. With the continued support of the towns sponsors and crowd, it was certainly placed on the map.
Now in our 11th year, and proudly bringing The Undertones to headline 2017 with Doctor & the Medics among many others, we've had a focus on always bringing quality music and arts to Witney. And whilst recently having From the Jam and John Coghlan's Quo, there will always be local musicians who highly feature and those that are eager to return.
With Eric, Jim & Matt being the team from 2015, they bring new life, drive and ambition into what so far has been the greatest voluntary tribute.
Our tree will always be rooted to Jo's memory and though leaves will drop, new ones will always grow.
Katie May, Jo' daughter, one day will be the Festival and continue our tree... no pressure.
Oh, and did we mention that it's free?